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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5840
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Lately my husband grabs me by the neck when we are arguing,

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Lately my husband grabs me by the neck when we are arguing
JA: How long have you been dealing with this issue? Are you experiencing any numbness or tingling?
Customer: He has threatened to kill me on two occasions
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?
Customer: He is angry at the fact that I filed for a judicial separation from him and I also got an interim order granting me custody of our kids age 3 and 20 months
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have been married for 4 years and I have two daughters age 3 and 22months. I met my husband in September 2012. We got engaged in January 2013 and by 1st June 2013 we were married.When I met my husband in September 2012, he was the sweetest and most supportive person I had ever met in my life. He was a good listener, he supported my career and everything I did. He respected my family and friends and was always willing to render help if need be.In November 2012 we had our first fight as a couple, this was as a result of my friendliness with an old male friend of mine who I gave a hug. My husband (fiance at the time) felt I was too friendly with the guy so he picked up a fight & accused me of disrespecting him by having too many male friends. I cried while trying to explain that it was a harmless friendly hug. Anyway this was the beginning of so many other accusations of infidelity I was accused of by my husband.I was constantly accused of taking sides with my sisters over him which was not true.Then we got married in June 2013 and the accusations and name calling such as slut, prostitute, gold digger etc continued. We would have normal arguments and then he would say I was disrespectful because I didn't agree with his views.The malice continued. While we were dating he will not speak to me for about 3 days after a fight. After marriage it moved up to a week or 10 days. 4 years after marriage, I haven't spoken to him for about a month.I began to experience occasional physical abuse after marriage when he will slap me or stomp on my feet because he will say I was being flirtatious or I engaged in an argument with him.In fairness to him, there wasn't a lot of physical abuse, it was a slap maybe once in 5 months or a shove or stomping on my feet. There was no actual beating. However, there was a lot of verbal abuse. He will verbally abuse me & everything associated with me. But after the abuse & several days of malice, he will apologise to me and be so loving and caring. He also always stood up for me.Many times I will report the verbal abuse to his parents who were very supportive and they will caution him.In January 2016, we had a flimsy argument which escalated & he accused me of being disrespectful to him and so he beat me up with a belt. I had belt marks on my body so I reported to my parents. This was the first time I will ever report the physical abuse. The reason I thought I had to speak out was because some months prior to January 2016 in September 2015 while I was pregnant with our 2nd child, he had literally thrown me out of the room and slapped me. He later apologised & promised never to repeat it. So when he beat me months after in January 2016, I decided it was time to speak out. So I told my parents.My parents expressed their displeasure to his own parents. His parents acted remorseful, asked for forgiveness and assured my parents that it was never going to happen again. His parents thereafter scolded him and threatened to disown him if he ever repeated such.He sought forgiveness from my parents and I. We all assured him that we had forgiven him.A week after, he stopped talking to me and became very hostile. His reason was that I had embarrassed him by reporting the incident to our parents. Then he began reporting me to his parents saying I was constantly Disrespectful to him, I did not take care of the children, I made no financial contribution to the upkeep of the home (please note, he never allowed me pay any of the bills. However, I still paid for little things around the house as well as the general upkeep of the children such as immunisation, hospital bills, diapers, wipes and their feeding).I was unaware of his new relationship with his parents where he was telling them lies against me until his father told his aunty to talk to me based on the allegations and advise me to behave better. It was after his aunty spoke to me that I realised that his parents felt slighted that I reported the physical abuse to my parents rather than tell only his parents like I had done in the past.Unknown to me, his parents held a grudge against me and had not forgiven me for "embarrassing" their family by speaking out.In March 2016 after I realised his parents stand, I decided to stay on my own & reduce any familiarity with his family. His mother began to voice out her support for her son and blame me for all the abuse I was enduring in the hands of her son. I complained to my parents and suggested a separation from him. But my parents declined and beckoned on me to be patient and pray about it. My parents were more concerned with how the society and their friends will look at them and their daughter whose marriage is falling apart. Rather than my parents addressing the issues properly, they began to insist on me remaining married to my husband and even threatened to disown me in the presence of my in laws if i let the marriage.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
With my parents against me and with the backing of his parents, my husband increased the verbal and emotional abuse and malice and began to alienate me from my children by dropping them off at his parents house everyday after school.I began to lose a lot of weight, I was constantly thinking and I also lost my appetite. I became suicidal. There were times I was driving and will want to deliberately crash into a ditch or something but the thought of my kids kept me going.The details of my story is actually very long but I will cut it short here. Eventually by September 2016, I had started seeing a therapist & I realised I was left with no choice but to secretly rent an apartment, go to court to file a judicial separation and get primary custody of my children (thankfully I have a well paid job). In November 2016, I got a court order granting me custody of my kids. I left the abuse with my children. My husband and his family were furious. They called me all the names in the book, tried to intimidate me in so many ways. I still stood strong.By March 2017, they began to calm down and started pressuring me to return for the sake of my children. My husband reported me to everyone he could, tried to gain sympathy by saying he was a good husband and good father and didn't deserve to be taken to court.The thing is that my husband is from a very wealthy family so financially I was well taken care of but the abuse was bad.After so much pressure, I decided to withdraw the judicial separation suit from court and return to my husband in June 2017 after 8 months apart. I thought he would have changed. I know he refused to take any blame for what had happened but he promised that together we will make it work after I move back home. So I moved back. It's been 3 months since I moved back in with my husband. Rather than work on the marriage, he has continued with the verbal and emotional abuse. In fact it is worse. He is blaming me for causing him so much embarrassment by taking "him" to court. He has promised never to forgive me for taking him to court and keeping his children away from him for 8 months.Please note: my parents came around and have been supportive since I went to court. They say they regret not helping me out in the past.While I was separated from my husband he still had access to the children.Now I have gotten to the point where I think I have had enough because now he doesn't care at all. He blames my parents and siblings for destroying his marriage and verbally abuses them at will. I really need to leave this home. But I feel guilty because my husband had been nice to me in the past. He is active in the children's life, he has provided for the family in the past. I feel like I will be betraying him if i leave again. My kids are still little.Please are my reservations justified. I need help please.I would love to get a response from you.Thank you.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

From your description, it sounds like you are in a very abusive relationship. Your husband has tried to control you, has hit you and abused you emotionally. It is very likely he will never see his actions as wrong and never get better. Most people who abuse others do not see their behavior as wrong and therefore it is likely that he would not only continue to hurt you, but he could possibly kill you. Whether or not he has ever been nice to you now or in the past is not important. Most abusers will have times they are nice or even kind to their victims. That is often part of the cycle of abuse. They either feel sorry for their actions for a brief period or they act kind in order to keep you in the relationship. No matter what, however, they always continue the abusive behavior.

The other consideration is what your children are being exposed to. Even if your husband is nice to the children, they are witnesses to his abuse. Seeing abuse, especially of a loved one, is extremely traumatic. Children are even more affected because they are helpless to stop the abuse. Children often suffer from anxiety, nightmares, anger and physical symptoms as a result of witnessing abuse. It is also possible that your children may repeat the abuse as adults because they think abuse is a normal part of a marriage or relationship.

Because of your husband's behavior, your safety and your children's safety is the highest priority. If you are not already in a safe place, get to one. Stay with a relative, especially a male one, or seek help from a shelter. Domestic abuse shelters are equipped with staff that know how to keep you and your children safe. They have the resources to help you get out of your marriage and into a safer environment. They can also help you get on your feet so you can support yourself and your children.

Go to the magistrate or police and file a PFA. This is a protection from abuse order that makes it mandatory that your husband stay away from you. If you file and see your husband around or if he contacts you, you can call the police and let them know you have a PFA. This also helps in a divorce since the judge will see that your husband has a violent past.

See a therapist and if possible, have your children in therapy as well. You all have been through a very traumatic experience and talking to someone can help a lot. Having a therapist work with you can also help you explore the reasons why you were in an abusive relationship and how to avoid one in the future. Also, it can prevent you from going back to your husband in a moment of weakness. Abusers are often good manipulators and can sometimes be very convincing about changing their ways. A therapist can help you prepare for this possibility as well as work on your self esteem so you feel better about yourself and don't feel tempted to go back into an abusive situation.

Here are some resources to help you:

http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

http://www.newhopeforwomen.org/abuser-tricks

Remember, abusers can hurt you physically but also emotionally as well. You do not have to bleed, show bruises or have any broken bones to be considered a victim. Emotional abuse can be just as powerful and hurtful as physical abuse. So no matter what, if your husband hurts you and doesn't respect you, treats you as an equal or takes care of you in a healthy way, you are being abused. Do not deal with this alone. Seek help from police, family, friends, domestic abuse shelters and therapists. You can recover from this and lead a happy, healthy life, as can your children.

I hope this has helped you,

Mary Ann

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you very much Mary ann. Your answer is very helpful. However I Am very confused because my husband keeps telling me things like he treated me like a Queen when we got married before I started disrespecting him. I wonder if my actions have also fuelled the abuse
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I live in Nigeria, I'm not sure we can do the phone call

You're welcome! I'm am happy to help. I'm sorry, but I am not set up to take phone calls. I apologize.

Your actions in no way affect your husband enough to cause him to abuse you. No matter how you treated him, you do not deserve to be abused. No one does. And if he was so unhappy with how you treated him, he could have left the marriage without having to hit you, choke you or be mean to you. Telling you that it is your fault he abused you is a very common tactic used by abusers. They blame the victim so they don't have to take responsibility. I have seen it many times when helping people who have been abused. No matter what your husband tells you, you are not responsible for his abusive actions towards you. He is an adult and has control over his own emotions and how he treats you.

Mary Ann

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I feel guilty sometimes when he says after all the nice things he has done for me, I embarrassed him and caused him shame by reporting the abuse to my family and going to court to file for judicial separation. Now he goes around saying I refuse to have sex with him. Many times when I remember the hurtful things he has said and done to me, I really do not feel the urge to have sex with him. Is this feeling normal or should I have made an effort?

It is very normal what you are feeling. If he is not treating you right and respecting you as a person, there is no reason for you to want to have sex with him. Sex involves vulnerability, especially for a woman. And to have someone abuse you then expect you to be vulnerable with them is asking a lot. You have every right to refuse to have sex with him. And the fact that he is telling everyone that you won't is violating your right to privacy in your own marriage. Many women in abusive relationships and marriages feel just as you do.

I hope my answers have helped you. If you would, please rate your experience so far so I may be reimbursed for my assistance to you. You can also accept the premium offer if you wish to continue working together on your original question.

Thank you so much,

Mary Ann

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